Latest on Mets’ manager search: Joe Maddon would ‘love’ the job, wants to interview

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Luis Rojas and Buck Showalter

Luis Rojas and Buck Showalter / USA TODAY Sports/SNY Treated Image

Here’s the latest news and buzz on the Mets’ search for a new manager…

Oct. 9, 11:09 a.m.

Joe Maddon is “telling friends he’d love to manage the Mets, and is hoping to at least interview for the opening,” reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Maddon, 69, was fired by the Angels in June of 2022 after two-plus seasons as manager.

His tenure in Los Angeles included a power struggle with GM Perry Minasian over how he should manage, as documented in The Book of Joe, which was co-authored by Maddon and Tom Verducci and released last October.

Maddon’s issue with front office input while with the Angels would seemingly make him a poor fit for the Mets’ managerial job.

During his introductory news conference, David Stearns said one of the key traits for any prospective manager would be the ability to form a partnership with the front office.

Before his time with the Angels, Maddon managed the Cubs (where he won the World Series in 2016) and Rays.

Oct. 7, 11:35 a.m.

The Milwaukee Brewers season is over, but the Mets still may have to wait a little bit longer before they can speak with Craig Counsell about coming to Queens.

According to a report in the New York Post, Counsell’s contract with Milwaukee does not expire until Oct. 31.

It appears that before that date, New York and any other interested team in acquiring Counsell’s services would have to get permission from the Brewers before they could speak to the manager.

The Post added that as of Friday night, there had not been any official contact between new Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns and Counsell.

Counsell is regarded as the likely successor to Buck Showalter. Milwaukee’s owner Mark Attanasio could block the Mets from speaking in an attempt to retain his manager and, if he is successful, the Mets could lose out on a potential alternative candidate from Stearns’ “wide net” during that time.

Oct. 5, 5:12 p.m.

The dust continues to settle around the the Milwaukee Brewers following their Wild Card round ouster by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but it’s sounding more and more like manager Craig Counsell will not return, and New York could be a very real option for him.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that one baseball exec told him “it would be an upset” if Counsell does not end up with the Mets.

Meanwhile, another rival GM said that if Counsell were to be hired by Steve Cohen, he would “set (salary) records.”

Heyman also mentions Don Kelly, Joe Espada, Raul Ibanez, Clayton McCullough, Eric Chavez and Joey Cora as potential Mets candidates.

Oct. 4, 11:35 p.m.

The Brewers lost, 5-2, to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, and were swept out of the 2023 Wild Card round.

With the loss, manager Craig Counsell is officially a free agent, and teams can now speak with him for his services.

Following the game, Counsell was asked about his timeline on making a decision on whether to return to Milwaukee. The nine-year Brewers manager was not willing to comment, saying, “that ain’t for tonight, man.”

In nine seasons as the Brewers manager, Counsell is 707-625 (.531) in the regular season.

With the hire of former Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns, the connection to Counsell is there.

Oct. 4, 8:23 p.m.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell has been a name linked to the Mets’ open manager position, but Milwaukee’s owner Mark Attanasio is keen on retaining Counsell.

Counsell’s contract will end once the Brewers’ season ends — the team is currently playing in the Wild Card round — and has not shown his hand on what he plans to do. However, Attanasio made it clear what his position is.

“That conversation will be open-ended, and we’ll see how he wants to handle it,” Attanasio told Newsday on Tuesday. “I think he has earned that right. Clearly we want him back, and we’ll see what he wants to do.”

The Brewers entered Wednesday down in the best-of-three series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 1-0. If Milwaukee loses Wednesday, Counsell and the Brewers’ season will be over and Counsell will be free to speak with other teams.

Oct. 4, 3:26 p.m.

There had been plenty of speculation that Padres manager Bob Melvin could potentially be a fit for the Mets job, but Padres GM A.J. Preller seemingly shot down any chance of Melvin leaving.

“Bob is our manager, and he’s going to be our manager going forward,” Preller told reporters on Wednesday, via Kyle Glaser of Baseball America. “Both he and I are very excited about the challenge of getting this group back to the postseason next year.”

SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino notes that Melvin staying in San Diego is “a surprise to the industry.”

Melvin interviewed with the Mets following the 2010 season, when the team eventually hired Terry Collins. Prior to Buck Showalter being hired in 2021, there was some thought around baseball that Melvin would be a good fit in Queens and the Mets had serious interest, but he never had a formal interview with the Mets.

Oct. 2, 1:52 p.m.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell, whose contract in Milwaukee expires after the season, is doing nothing to quiet the buzz that has connected him to the Mets’ manager job — and a potential reunion with David Stearns.

“I’m not under contract, so if other people ask, I’m not going to ignore it,” Counsell told Tyler Kepner of The Athletic.

Explained Counsell:

“I’m enjoying doing what I’m doing, so I would guess I’ll keep doing it,” Counsell said about continuing to manage beyond this season. “But the promise I made to myself was just get to the end of the year and see where life has you. And it’s unusual for a manager to do that — but when I think about it, I think it’s fine to do.”

The Brewers hope to retain Counsell, but owner Mark Attanasio knows that might not happen. And any talks have been tabled until after the season.

“Of course I want him to stay on,” Attanasio told The Athletic. “But he prefers to focus on the season, so that’s where that’s at. Hopefully the season goes deep into October and we’ll pick up the conversation when it’s over.”

A native of Wisconsin, the 53-year-old Counsell has been manager of the Brewers since May of 2015.

Oct. 2, 1:09 p.m.

David Stearns explained what he’s looking for as he searches for a manager to replace Buck Showalter.

“Someone who is working side by side with me and the rest of our baseball ops group and the manager has so many responsibilities these days, it is a big job,” Stearns said. “But first and foremost is the ability to manage people, manage personalities, and create and facilitate an organizational culture where people enjoy coming to work and work hard. That’s at the top of my list.”

Stearns added:

“There’s no one I have in mind, we are going to cast a wide net. We’re gonna have a real process, we’re gonna at some point interview candidates of varying backgrounds and I imagine we’ll interview candidates that have both been major league managers before and those who have not. The point here is finding the right person who we believe can grow with the organization and hopefully be here for a long time.”

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